It's two days before Porsche and Nala aka "The Girls" turn 8, and yes we do celebrate their birthday, and I've been dabbling with the idea of letting them be outside cats. But not fully outside cats, just cats that get to go outside with me while I'm hanging in the backyard.

The backstory: they've been inside cats their whole lives. I adopted them from an Oregon shelter back in 2011 when they were just three months old and we've been living indoors together since. We've gone through a handful of moves together in Seattle, none of which were good opportunities to really let them outside. My last Seattle house before moving to Boise was one that I lived in for just shy of six years, but the backyard/deck area had way too many opportunities for them to escape, plus a family of raccoons living under the deck, so I just couldn't trust it. I know they long to be outside.

The last month has been really nice and hot out, so I've been letting them come out in the backyard with me while I'm out enjoying the sun. The problem? They keep trying to jump the fence! My whole house and yard was redone before I moved in, and my fence is new and tall enough that they can't jump it, except on the side pictured. It's an older fence and juuuust short enough that both Porsche and Nala can hop it. I don't trust them outdoors enough to let them roam the streets and the neighborhood.

So my plan is to build a catio. I've played with the idea in my mind for years, and I think I'm finally ready to do it! Two of my friends are flying in for Memorial Weekend and said they'd bring a drill and help me get it going. It's a sign. Now is the time to shine, Porsche and Nala.

There's tons of outlines and building plans available on the web, but I'm interested in seeing the catios of people who have built them before! If you've got a catio that you love or tips on how I can make mine as great and sturdy as possible, send them my way!

Here's a few pictures of The Girls being sweet loves yesterday and pretending that they weren't about to hop that very fence.